We can’t really manage time. We can work within its boundaries, though, in a manageable way. Key to getting things done and accomplishing what we want to accomplish, is to create the space in your life to let those things happen. To get the results you want, you have to create space for good results.
One of the key ways to create space and use your time in a wiser manner is to learn how to say no. As women, we really, really have a difficult time with this.
We have not been raised to say no in most instances. We are raised to cooperate and get along with others. Signs of aggressive behavior are frowned upon in most circumstances. We are supposed to be agreeable and keep the peace.
Now, this isn’t true in all circumstances, but in general and from talking to women all my life I have found this to be true.
There are a lot of reasons we don’t want to say no.
We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings
We like feeling needed
We really want to do it
We feel bad actually saying the word
We don’t want to miss out on something
We don’t want to disappoint
But if we can learn to say no more often and at the right times, that skill will enable us to create more time for what is really important in our lives. And what is important is different for everyone.
Sometimes we think that we are being selfish because we don’t want to do something just because we want some time to ourselves, to do NOTHING. We don’t even know what we want to do with our time, but we know we want to be alone. And that’s ok. If you find yourself always saying no, this may be something you want to examine, but I am talking about the times that we agree to something over and over again that we really do not want to do.
By saying no to some things, you are saying YES to some very important things. Yes to more time for yourself. Yes to more time for your business. Yes to more time for your health. Yes to more time to think and decide what is truly important to you.
Perhaps you just need time to think sometimes. Maybe listen to some music or go for a walk. Maybe saying no just a few more times in your day and in your week would give you the time to do that.
Saying no takes practice. A good way to begin is to say it once a day to one request.
No can be delayed while you get up your courage. Wait fifteen minutes to give an answer to a request or invitation. Wait one day, if you still need more time. It is hard at first, until you get the hang of it.
Now, for some of you, maybe this is not a problem.
For many of you, I am guessing, this something that could help you in your life. You can create little spaces of time in your day, by not agreeing to everything someone asks you to do.
Another thing to try that you may not think about, is saying no to yourself. This too takes practice, but it can create amazing changes in your day, in your health, in all parts of your lives.
Try saying no to yourself about things that are bad for you.
No, I know I will feel bad if I eat that food. (Actually here is another situation where waiting 15 minutes can help. See if you still want the food in 15 minutes.)
No, I cannot watch that movie, because I have to get up early tomorrow.
No, I will not drink that soda and will have water instead.
No, I will not see that man again—he is making me crazy!
Some of us are so used to saying yes and being agreeable, we have forgotten how to say no. Practice.
Remember, saying no sometimes is saying YES to all sorts of possibilities.
Diana Fletcher is a Life Coach, Author and Speaker. Her passion is to help women embrace their strength and live the happy, healthy lives they are meant to lead. Her latest book, Happy on Purpose Daily Messages of Empowerment and Joy, is dedicated to all women.